Here’s how travel habits changed in Sweden this July

Here's how travel habits changed in Sweden this July
Long journeys within Sweden declined year-on-year. File photo: Fredrik Persson / TT
The coronavirus pandemic has affected how people spent the summer in Sweden, with fewer and longer trips, according to mobile data.

The amount of people who carried out the 40 most common trips in Sweden fell by 21 percent compared to July 2019, a clear indication of the impact of the virus on summer plans. 

“All long trips are fewer than last year, and that means we're moving around less this summer,” said Elin Allison from Telia, which has been sharing its anonymised data with the Public Health Agency.

Journeys to the popular island of Gotland, for example, fell by 32 percent from last year.

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There was more movement around the Stockholm area during July than last year, but Telia's data showed that fewer people travelled to the capital from other Swedish regions.

“There are more people [in Stockholm] than usual, but it's not people who've travelled there — rather it's people who have stayed home,” explained Allison.

Trips from the Stockholm region to other parts of the country fell by 22 percent, while trips from Västra Götaland and Skåne fell by 26 percent.

At the same time, shorter journeys increased, with more people spending the summer within their own regions. Journeys between the Stockholm municipalities of Lidingö and Nacka rose by 31 percent, while trips between Botkyrka and Ekerö rose by 37 percent compared to July 2019.

Another trend was a significant decrease in travel from areas with airports, suggesting a fall in even domestic flights.

In Sigtuna, home to Stockholm's Arlanda airport, movement fell by 38 percent from last year, while Härryda where Gothenburg's Landvetter airport is located saw a 26 percent fall.

Travel between Sigtuna and Umeå fell by 77 percent, and between Sigtuna and Sundsvall by 79 percent.

“There are large decreases from Sigtuna to the rest of Sweden, and we can assume that above all it's due to flights,” explained Allison.

On the other hand, travel to certain mountainous regions was up on last year, with more people opting for vacations in nature. Journeys to Härjedalen on the Norwegian border rose by 4 percent while movement within the region was up by 10 percent. 

“I interpret [the data] as showing people stay longer in the places they go to. We're taking fewer trips this summer, but that doesn't mean we're not making the most of the destinations we have,” said Allison.


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